BRINGING NEW MEANING TO CONVERGED DEVICES, Intermec Inc. in September introduced the CN3, a small rugged mobile computer that combines four radios with a scanner and camera. The CN3 enables mobile workers to swap the single-function devices cell phone, GPS unit, pager, laptop, camera they carry for a single device.
The device was expected to be available in December for use on the Sprint Nextel Corp. EV-DO Rev. 0 network, with Rev. A compatibility by mid-2007. It was expected to be certified on the Cingular Wireless network by the end of 2006 and on Verizon Wireless network in first quarter of this year.
The CN3 is a powerful, business-grade device, rugged enough for on-the-job use and full of the features enterprise users require, yet compact enough to slip into a pocket, said Barry Tishgart, director of product management for Sprint. Mobile workers everywhere will benefit from the CN3s ability to connect them anywhere, any time, to the information and applications they need and at EV-DO broadband speeds.
Photography courtesy of Intermec Technologies
In addition to its CDMA/EV-DO radio, the CN3 also includes a GSM/EDGE radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. An on-board GPS system and mapping software also provide turn-by-turn directions for mobile workers. The device can be configured with varying combinations of radios or all four.
Clark Richter, business development manager for Intermec, says incorporating four radios was an R&D feat; the company has applied for 67 new patents just on the antenna arrays.
Ruggedized and rain- and dust-resistant, the CN3 costs less (about $2,250) and is smaller (little more than an inch think and about 6.2 inches long and 3.3 inches wide) than typical rugged WAN mobile computers. Richter says the form factor was a critical consideration with the unit and is noticeably smaller and lighter than previous Intermec multipurpose handheld computers.
The CN3 has 128MB RAM and is powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software with the Messaging and Security Feature Pack, including Direct Push Technology for wireless e-mail. It comes with a QWERTY keyboard or an optional numeric keypad.
The device also includes an optional 1.3 megapixel color camera with flash that allows workers to document assets and damaged goods records at the point of transaction. A 2D imager is embedded for scanning bar codes.
Richter says the battery lasts six-to-eight hours, but an extended battery will endure for eight-to-12 hours. The CN3 supports Intermec SmartSystems for remote installation, maintenance, application software updates, security adjustments and device settings.
Partners can source the CN3 directly from Intermec or one of its VADs, such as ScanSource or Avnet. Margins on the device range from 30 percent to 40 percent dependent on quantity and configuration. The device also is expected to be available and billable directly from Sprint in first quarter 2007. Dealers can activate wireless WAN service as a subagent for Intermec or through their own contracts with mobile operators.
Richter says the CN3 is ideal for mobile workers in field service or sales, transportation, direct-to-store delivery and health care. www.intermec.com